He comes from Erin's speechful shore
Like fervid kettle, bubbling o'er
With hot effusions--hot and weak;
Sound, Humbug, all your hollowest drums,
He comes, of Erin's martyrdoms
To Britain's well-fed Church to speak.
Puff him, ye Journals of the Lord,
Twin prosers, Watchman and Record!
Journals reserved for realms of bliss,
Being much too good to sell in this,
Prepare, ye wealthier Saints, your dinners,
Ye Spinsters, spread your tea and crumpets;
And you, ye countless Tracts for Sinners,
Blow all your little penny trumpets.
He comes, the reverend man, to tell
To all who still the Church's part take,
Tales of parsonic woe, that well
Might make even grim Dissenter's heart ache:--
Of ten whole bishops snatched away
For ever from the light of day;
(With God knows, too, how many more,
For whom that doom is yet in store)--
Of Rectors cruelly compelled
From Bath and Cheltenham to haste home,
Because the tithes, by Pat withheld,
Will not to Bath or Cheltenham come;
Nor will the flocks consent to pay
Their parsons thus to stay away;--
Tho' with such parsons, one may doubt
If 'tisn't money well laid out;--
Of all, in short, and each degree
Of that once happy Hierarchy,
Which used to roll in wealth so pleasantly;
But now, alas! is doomed to see
Its surplus brought to nonplus presently!
Such are the themes this man of pathos,
Priest of prose and lord of bathos,
Will preach and preach t'ye, till you're dull again;
Then, hail him, Saints, with joint acclaim,
Shout to the stars his tuneful name,
Which Murtagh was, ere known to fame,
But now is Mortimer O'Mulligan!
All true, Dick, true as you're alive--
I've seen him, some hours since, arrive.
Murtagh is come, the great Itinerant--
And Tuesday, in the market-place,
Intends, to every saint and sinner in't,
To state what he calls Ireland's Case;
Meaning thereby the case of his shop,-
Of curate, vicar, rector, bishop,
And all those other grades seraphic,
That make men's souls their special traffic,
Tho' caring not a pin which way
The erratic souls go, so they pay.--
Just as some roguish country nurse,
Who takes a foundling babe to suckle,
First pops the payment in her purse,
Then leaves poor dear to--suck its knuckle:
Even so these reverend rigmaroles
Pocket the money--starve the souls.
Murtagh, however, in his glory,
Will tell, next week, a different story;
Will make out all these men of barter,
As each a saint, a downright martyr,
Brought to the stake--i.e. a beef one,
Of all their martyrdoms the chief one;
Tho' try them even at this, they'll bear it,
If tender and washt down with claret.
Meanwhile Miss Fudge, who loves all lions.
Your saintly, next to great and high 'uns--
(A Viscount, be he what he may,
Would cut a Saint out any day,)
Has just announced a godly rout,
Where Murtagh's to be first brought out,
And shown in his tame, week-day state:--
"Prayers, half-past seven, tea at eight."
Even so the circular missive orders--
Pink cards, with cherubs round the borders.
Haste, Dick--you're lost, if you lose time;--
Spinsters at forty-five grow giddy,
And Murtagh with his tropes sublime
Will surely carry off old Biddy,
Unless some spark at once propose,
And distance him by downright prose.
That sick, rich squire, whose wealth and lands
All pass, they say, to Biddy's hands,
(The patron, Dick, of three fat rectories!)
Is dying of angina pectoris;--
So that, unless you're stirring soon.
Murtagh, that priest of puff and pelf,
May come in for a honey-moon,
And be the man of it, himself!
As for me, Dick--'tis whim, 'tis folly,
But this young niece absorbs me wholly.
'Tis true, the girl's a vile verse-maker--
Would rhyme all nature, if you'd let her;--
But even her oddities, plague take her,
But made me love her all the better.
Too true it is, she's bitten sadly
With this new rage for rhyming badly,
Which late hath seized all ranks and classes,
Down to that new Estate, "the masses ";
Till one pursuit all tastes combines--
One common railroad o'er Parnassus,
Where, sliding in those tuneful grooves,
Called couplets, all creation moves,
And the whole world runs mad in lines.
Add to all this--what's even still worse,
As rhyme itself, tho' still a curse,
Sounds better to a chinking purse--
Scarce sixpence hath my charmer got,
While I can muster just a groat;
So that, computing self and Venus,
Tenpence would clear the amount between us.
However, things may yet prove better:--
Meantime, what awful length of letter!
And how, while heaping thus with gibes
The Pegasus of modern scribes,
My own small hobby of farrago
Hath beat the pace at which even they go!